On my first day of college, I remember going to the drugstore with my roommate Susanna to pick up some essentials. I remember
peering into her basket and seeing brands I had never used. Inside my own cart, I placed Dial soap, Colgate toothpaste, and
Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo. These were products my parents had bought for my brother and I all our lives, and I had
never used anything else. Although Susanna raved about the items she purchased, and the local store had sales on other brands,
being so far away from home only made me more committed to using the brands I grew up with.
Brand loyalty is a central topic in Volume VII of the Successful Product Manager's Handbook—and with good reason. It is the social and emotional impact of brands that make patients loyal customers. Daniel Rehal, senior
product manager for diabetes at Takeda, offers a front-line perspective on how this works in the physician's office. In his
experience, a drug's cost takes a backseat to how doctors feel about brands. Rebecca Robins, of Interbrand Wood, also tackles branding, and discusses how execs can enable lifelong relationships
between their product and the patients that use them. The biggest challenge: don't shout louder, but instead be smarter about
communicating the right message.
One way of doing that is through the Web. Stephen Gerard of TGaS Advisors offers brand teams a benchmark for their Web spending
and insight on how to get the most out of a brand's online dollars. Of course, it's not only what you spend, but the impact
of the creative. In her article, Corbett creative chief Robin Shapiro discusses how to develop a concept that blows away the
competition. (Hint: it's the relationship with the client that counts.)
In the end, the patient experience isn't so different than my own: I've long been out of college, but you better believe I
still have Dial soap, Colgate toothpaste, and Johnson & Johnson's shampoo in my medicine cabinet.
Jeannette Park is Pharmaceutical Executive's special projects editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org